Every Question About Choco Chicken, Answered
When the first news of Choco Chicken started leaking out on the interwebs I have to admit I was instantly excited. Not because chocolate covered fried chicken sounds good to me (it doesn’t), but because I’ve got a ton of respect for Umami Burger and 800 Degrees. They might not serve up your favorite burger or pizza in the city, but both chains are genius ideas and both taste great for what they are. It helps, of course, that I love the mix of sweet and salty. And I knew in my heart of artery clogged hearts that the concept of a chocolate fried chicken would be safe in the hands of whoever came up with those other two ideas.
Fast forward to now. Chocochicken is now open in Downtown L.A. and I can confirm that the chicken is pretty much everything I imagined it would be. (Did I mention that I knew it was going to be good?) The restaurant itself? Well, that’s a different story. And it seems like a lot of people still have questions they need answered before they’re willing to fork over the cash for whatever it is that chocochicken is.
So, for those of you who haven’t taken the dive yet (or those of you who have and are still confused) here is every question you had about Chocochicken, answered.
So… Chocochicken, huh? I guess first off, is it actually good or are you just saying that? Because it sounds terrible. It’s great. Trust me.
So, what the hell is it? Is it chocolate covered chicken? Because that sounds disgusting. No, it’s not chicken covered in actual chocolate. That would be disgusting.
Is it mole? Nope. It’s not chicken covered in a sauce.
So, what the hell is it then? Imagine extra crispy fried chicken, with a batter that tastes like there’s cocoa powder in it instead of old bay or a ton of pepper. Apparently there’s also chocolate elements in the brine, the coating and the seasoning they finish it with, but the end result is just fried chicken that tastes like there’s cocoa powder in the batter.
So it’s sweet? Not sugary sweet. Obviously the cocoa powder makes it a little less savory than regular fried chicken but on its own it’s not super sweet. It’s actually a bit spicy.
I don’t know. It still sounds kind of gross. I assure you, it’s not. It’s delicious.
Really? Yes, really. Don’t you like fried chicken and waffles?
Of course I do. What am I a communist? Well, if you like the whole sweet and salty, fried chicken with syrup thing, then you’ll probably like this.
But you said it’s not sweet. The chicken itself isn’t sweet, but they serve this thing called “Bee Sting” that’s honey mixed with Gindo’s Spice of Life Hot Sauce that’s pretty amazing.
You mean that L.A. based hot sauce? Yup. Between the honey and the hot sauce and the cocoa powder chicken… it’s pretty outstanding. And then you throw a biscuit in and you’re rocking.
So do you just order chicken by the piece? You can if you want.
So is that it? Nope. There’s also combos. You can get one breast or two thighs and two sides for $14, or a breast a thigh and 2 sides for $18.
There are sides too? Yup. There’s duck fat fries dusted in choco seasoning, white chocolate mashed potatoes-
Wait. I’ve got to stop you right there. There’s chocolate in the mashed potatoes? Yes, and Choco Chicken seasoning dusted onto the fries.
But isn’t there already chocolate in the chicken? Yes
So why would you need it on the fries or in the mashed potatoes? Good question.
Is it good? I suppose it doesn’t taste bad. There’s also chocolate ketchup.
Ugh. I hate homemade ketchup. Me too.
Isn’t that overkill to have chocolate on everything? Yes. Yes it is.
Does anything *not* have chocolate? Sure. There’s corn, cole slaw, a side salad, and the biscuits.
Phew. Thankfully there’s no chocolate in the biscuits. No, but there is a biscuit option that has caramelized bacon in it.
Of course there is. How are the biscuits? They’re a bit denser than your regular biscuit, but overall they’re pretty good. Especially when smeared with bee sting butter.
Is that the bee sting honey stuff mixed into butter? Yes. Yes it is.
That sounds pretty good. It is pretty good. But you know what’s even better? The biscuit topped with fried chicken and gravy
Holy mother of… what is that?! It’s the “Old School”. A biscuit, chocochicken thigh, and gravy for $11.
That is a thing of beauty. It is indeed. There’s also a chicken sandwich with coleslaw on top, and an off menu version where they replace the cole slaw with mashed potatoes, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Don’t they realize this is L.A.? People love chicken here, but you’re not going to find too many people willing to eat fried chicken covered in gravy too often. What about all those people who only eat salads? Oh, there’s a salad too.
With chocochicken on top?! Yup. And a miso dressing.
So this isn’t really a fast food joint is it? No. It’s a sit down restaurant with TVs and a full bar.
Like a sports bar? Yes, exactly like a sports bar.
So there’s beer? Yup. There’s a full bar, with fancy cocktails too.
Heh… let me guess- there’s a chocolate martini? You’re catching on.
It is down the street from the Staples Center so I guess that all makes sense. I guess.
So if it’s a sports bar they must do wings, right? Yup. There’s ala carte wings and then a bucket option for $25.
Do they have carrots and celery? Yup. Also with a miso dipping sauce.
So the chicken is good? The chicken is awesome.
But the rest of the stuff… the chocolate mashed potatoes, the chocolate dusted french fries. I don’t know about all that. You think that’s bad? They toyed with the idea of chocolate filled meatballs.
Good lord. What happened? They scrapped it… for now. Couldn’t get it to work right.
Ok, so at least they’re not blinded by their insane love of chocolate. No. In fact the menu is still a work in progress, and there’s talk about adding all sort of other things, including seasonal specials.
Well, that could go either way. I suppose you’re right.
The chicken sounds like it could have been this great thing, like the smoky fried chicken at Plan Check or Momofuku’s fried chicken in New York. But adding chocolate to everything on the menu kind of turns it into a dumb gimmick. You said it, not me.
Didn’t the guy who owns this place start Umami Burger and 800 Degrees? One of the owners, yes.
But those concepts are both genius? Yeah they are.
And it’s not like Umami Burger had to have “MSG topped french fries!” Nope, they didn’t.
You’d think he’d know better. I guess. Who knows… they did call the place Choco Chicken. What did you expect?
Good point. So the plan must be to open these all over the place, right? I’m sure. There’s another one slated to open in Santa Monica, and there’s talk of Vegas.
VEGAS! Of course Vegas. Good for them. I take it all back… this thing is going to be huge. Pass the bee sting please… God Bless America.
Still have questions? Ask away in the comments…
Chocochicken, 403 W. 12th Street (at Grand in DTLA). 213-403-1786